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BioBlitz on Alcatraz: Hundreds of Species Logged for Island Gardens

Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay is a part of the the Golden Gate National Recreation Area best known for its birds and the penitentiary from which no successful escape was recorded. But it is also the home of historic gardens rooted in times when the island was first a military base and then a forbidding prison, planted and tended by personnel and their families, often with the help of inmates. Rehabilitated after decades of neglect, the Gardens of Alcatraz are now a tourist attraction — and they were a big source of species observed for the 2014 BioBlitz in Golden Gate National Parks.

March 30, 2014: Skiing Everest, Mission Blue, Search for Michael Rockefeller, Violent Animal Reproduction, and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week his guests try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, figure out if Mother Nature is really trying to kill you, ski off the seven summits including Everest, look inside the city of Damascus during the Syrian War, dive into Mission Blue with Sylvia Earle, look at how much food we waste each year, take a walk on the surface of Mars, and find out what we should pack on a camping trip.

Geography in the News: The Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Gulf’s Growing Dead Zone With rising demand over the past decade for the corn-based fuel additive ethanol, American farmers have grown more corn than at any time since World War II. Unfortunately, the nitrogen fertilizer being applied to cornfields is contributing to a…

BioBlitz Bug Man Inspires us to Look for Diversity in our Backyard

Veteran BioBlitzer Gary Hevel is at the Golden Gate Parks BioBlitz in San Francisco this year, along with hundreds of specimens of insects he collected in his Silver Spring, Maryland backyard, just outside Washington, D.C. Hevel has attended everyone one of the eight annual National Geographic/National Park BioBlitzes.

Teaching Moments at the BioBlitz

Students taking part in the Golden Gate Parks BioBlitz at Lands End, the rugged northwest corner of San Francisco overlooking the ocean, learned the tricks to being expert birders.

Geography in the News: Majestic Denali

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Denali National Park and Preserve, A North American Treasure In the fall of 2009, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns’ film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea aired on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Burns, whose film topics range from the Civil War to jazz music…

Geography in the News: Bali, Past Trouble in Paradise

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Bali: Past Trouble in Paradise In August 2009, an elite Indonesian police squad killed a man believed to be the most wanted Islamic terrorist in Southeast Asia. Noordin Mohammad Top, a Malaysian born militant, was linked to bombings in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the 2002 bombings on…

Geography in the News: The Scourge of Landmines

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Scourge of Landmines In January 2012, U.S. Navy SEALs stormed an encampment in northern Somalia to rescue two aid workers taken hostage in October 2011. While the rescue itself was newsworthy, the operation also brought to light the workers’ mission in Somalia. They…

Geography in the News: Ukraine’s Crisis

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Ukraine’s Russian Crisis In January 2009, the United States signed a pact with Ukraine to establish a U.S. diplomatic office in Simferopol, the capital of the Ukrainian republic of Crimea. The move clearly concerned Moscow. Russia exerts substantial power in Ukraine. The Crimean peninsula…

Counting Tigers by Their Stripes

Tigers are secretive by nature, making it difficult to estimate their populations in the wild. But Dr. K. Ullas Karanth of the Wildlife Conservation Society employs an ingenious solution: he uses remote “camera traps” to photograph unsuspecting tigers and identifies them later by their unique stripe patterns. As a result, he has helped develop a more reliable way to count — and protect — tigers in India’s Western Ghats.

Bernando LaPallo and the Recipe for a Long Life

Bernando Lapallo plans to celebrate his 113th birthday this year. The supercentenarian resident of Arizona lives to inspire people everywhere that they too can grow old, even very old, if only they live clean and healthy lives. “Bernando continues to shop for himself, cook, bathe, shave without any assistance from anyone to help him in…

Geography in the News: Amazing Crater Lake

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Crater Lake: An Awesome Volcanic Wonder Crater Lake is a beautiful caldera lake found in South-central Oregon State, USA. It has a stunning deep blue color and brilliant water clarity and forms the main feature in Crater Lake National Park. The lake is one…

Geography in the News: The Growth of Megacities

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Megacities’ Expansive Growth For the first time in human history, more of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in cities than in rural areas. That is an incredible demographic and geographic shift since 1950 when only 30 percent of the world’s 2.5 billion inhabitants lived…

February 9, 2014: Cycling and Climbing Through a Sufferfest, Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week, they endure a 750-mile climbing and biking Sufferfest, crash during Olympic snowboard halfpipe training leading to a traumatic brain injury, try to save the Great Barrier Reef from dredging, launch the “coolest” space mission ever, chase Shackleton’s legacy across frigid Antarctic waters, enjoy the restorative health benefits of a 30-million person crowd, celebrate with winners’ dominant body language, and investigate 10 deaths high in a Russian mountain pass.

Geography in the News: Curaçao, Newly Independent Micro-State?

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Curaçao: The Western Hemisphere’s Newly Independent Micro-State Curaçao became a quasi-independent country Oct. 10, 2010, making it one of the world’s 195 recognized countries, according to the U.S. State Department. In a change of constitutional status that dissolved the Dutch Antilles, Curaçao (pronounced “cure…